Here’s the cool thing…whomever wins will be well deserving of their award. Those who don’t walk home with a prize are still winners. And everyone gets to celebrate with great drinks after the awards. Gosh we love this industry!

On Saturday, July 28, 2012 the most respected minds in the cocktail industry will gather to recognize national and international nominees across 17 prestigious categories. After a thorough selection process, the top four finalists have been chosen for the Annual Spirited Awards® Ceremony. The Spirited Awards® honors the bars, bartenders, writers, experts and other members of the cocktail industry who have exiled above their contemporaries for the 2012 year. As a part of this years Tales of the Cocktail® 10th Anniversary celebration, the top four finalists per category are invited to attend the award ceremony on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans.
The finalists will travel from around the world to gather together and celebrate their positive impact on the cocktail world. Each award recipient will receive an exclusive Riedel Crystal trophy.
Pernod Ricard USA will once again sponsor this year’s Spirited Awards®, the fifth consecutive year the company has participated in the event. Also, as part of the evening’s festivities, Beverage Media Group, Inc. will recognize 10 Up & Coming Mixologists, selected from participants of the Tales of the Cocktail® Apprentice Program.

Please see below for a complete list of the top four nominees according to category.

American Bartender of the Year
• Eric Alperin
• Charles Joly
• Jeffrey Morganthaler
• Joaquin Simo

Best American Brand Ambassador
• Erick Castro
• Elayne Duke
• Jamie Gordon
• Jim Ryan

Best American Cocktail Bar
• Anvil Bar & Refuge – Houston, Texas
• Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
• Columbia Room – Washington, District of Columbia
• The Varnish – Los Angeles, California

Best Bar Mentor
• Bridget Albert
• Wayne Collins
• Francesco Lafranconi
• Steve Olson

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar
• Beretta – San Francisco, California
• Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
• Eastern Standard – Boston, Massachusetts
• La Descarga – Los Angeles, California

Best Cocktail Writing – Author
• Gary Regan
• Robert Simonson
• Dave Wondrich
• Naren Young

Best Cocktail Writing – Non Book
• Barlife UK
• Time Out NY

Best International Brand Ambassador
• Jacob Briars
• Ian Burrell
• Claire Smith
• Angus Winchester

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
• The American Cocktail by the Editors of Imbibe
• Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all
• Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011
• PDT Cocktail Book

Best New Product
• Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
• Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula
• Lillet Rose
• Perlini System

Best Restaurant Bar
• Bar Agricole – San Francisco, California
• Rivera – Los Angeles, California
• Saxon + Parole – New York, New York
• Slanted Door – San Francisco, California

International Bartender of the Year
• Zdenek Kastanek
• Alex Kratena
• Sam Ross
• Dushan Zaric

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
• 69 Colebrooke Row – London, United Kingdom
• Black Pearl –Melbourne, Australia
• The Connaught Bar – London, United Kingdom
• The Varnish – Los Angeles, California

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
• Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
• Callooh Callay – London, United Kingdom
• Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
• Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York

World’s Best Drinks Selection
• Artesian at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
• Death & Co. – Manhattan, New York
• Eau de Vie – Sydney, Australia
• Salvatore’s at The Playboy – London, United Kingdom

World’s Best Hotel Bar
• Artesian at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
• Clive’s Classic Lounge – Victoria, British Columbia
• Clyde Common – Portland, Oregon
• The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
• Aviary – Chicago, Illinois
• Candelaria – Paris, France
• Canon – Seattle, Washington
• The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom

Tickets to the Spirited Awards® ceremony can now be purchased online at for $65.00 for individuals or $650.00 per table of 10 seats. The Spirited Awards® are just one part of the historic 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail® being held in New Orleans July 25-29, 2012. Visit the Tales of the Cocktail® website to learn more about the week’s spirited schedule of events.

About Tales of the Cocktail®
Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the most respected minds on mixology for five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Held annually in New Orleans, this international event has something for cocktail professionals and enthusiasts alike with a spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions and tasting rooms where brands showcase their latest products. Tales of the Cocktail® returns in 2012 for a historic milestone—its 10th Anniversary of rocking the cocktail world. Join the celebration July 25-29, 2012 and see how Tales of the Cocktail® only gets better with age.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique culture of cocktails and cuisine in New Orleans and beyond. Since it’s founding in 2006 the NOCCPS has supported members of the hospitality industry through programs like the new Apprentice Aid Fund, providing financial assistance to former apprentices in times of medical need, the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program and the Flo Woodward Memorial Scholarship as well as the production of events like Tales of the Cocktail®.

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail®, visit the website at Ticket on sale now.